Knowledge of Good and Evil (Part 2)
The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. 9 And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil . . . 15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:8-9, 15-17 NKJV
There were two trees in the middle of the Garden of Eden: the tree of life which is a type of Jesus Christ, the only One who gives life; and, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil which speaks of knowledge without God. Godless knowledge—knowledge that ignores God’s will is the knowledge of “good and evil.” The twin fruit on the tree of knowledge of good and evil both led to spiritual death. So, how good is good if it, too, leads to death?
These two trees represent what is in us: we can choose life which comes from hearing and obeying God’s Word or we can choose the knowledge of good and evil and experience spiritual death, distance, alienation, and separation from God. We eat of the trees in the middle of the Garden daily through the choices we make.
The knowledge of God is the Word of God (Matt. 4:4), and the Word of God is spirit and life (John 6:63). When God created Adam He breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and then Adam became a living being (Gen. 2:7). Only a living being in the person of God (spirit, soul, and body) could be like God with the freedom of choice—to freely make choices. God certified Adam’s “personhood” when He poured His spirit into him. Personhood is established at the point of choice. God wanted man to be a companion and friend to love Him and obey of his own free will—not to be a robot or toy soldier. Without being and having a “spirit”, Adam could have never been God-like in his understanding of God’s command to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Ordinary human nature cannot help in understanding the things of God (1 Cor. 2:14).
God’s command to Adam was a simple test of obedience. Adam was created innocent but not righteous because there was no knowledge of sin prior to his fall. Righteousness implies choosing not to sin. When Adam chose to disobey and eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he sinned and sin brought, as God forewarned, spiritual death. Like Adam, we all choose what we believe and obey. All of life is choice and consequences (Deut. 30:19-20). According to our choices so be unto us (Matt. 9:27-29). Unlike the first man, Adam, we can overcome the enemy by the choices we make (Rev. 2:7). The righteous chooses not to ignore God’s will, and refuses to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil!